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Marital Authority

One of our goals at RBC (the publishers of Our Daily Bread) is to attach authority to no more or no less than the necessary implications of the Bible.  I don’t find that easy to do. Seems  so hard to avoid reading more into the Bible than out of it (by treating possible implications as absolute truths).

For instance, we’ve talked repeatedly in the past about what the Bible says about marriage. If you’ve followed our conversations  you may have picked up that, for a number of reasons, I’m not convinced  that God has given a  husband authority to rule his wife. (Because I might be wrong about that, I’ll qualify it below).

One of the things I value so much about our conversations is that you help me test my thinking, even as I am then in turn accountable to my co-workers to “publish” and teach what together what we see as those necessary implications of the Bible.

With that disclaimer, my personal hunch is that all too often  followers of Christ reinforce the curse (Gen 3:16) rather than reaching for the original ideal of a complementary oneness in which both husbands and wives use whatever they’ve been given for the good of one another and for the honor of God.

I also suspect that we may have read “authority to rule” into the head-body word picture of marriage where the stated emphasis is on a husband’s sacrifice and and a wife’s submission for the oneness and interdependence of the relationship. The only place I find marital “authority” clearly stated is in 1Cor 7:3-4. In this text Paul affirms the mutual authority husbands and wives have over one another.

But here’s where I want to be very careful. I acknowledge that it is possible that the head-body word picture does imply a certain kind of husband-authority to lead.

But if that’s the case, then it must involve a special responsibility and accountability. If a husband has been given authority over his wife it must involve a responsibility before God to use his  physical and social strength for the protection and provision of his wife. Jesus did teach that to whom much (i.e. strength) is given, much shall be required. So in that sense, such authority would amount to the kind of servant-leadership that Jesus calls for in Luke 22:25-26. Here Jesus explains that in his kingdom those who rule are as those who serve.

If a husband has been given that kind of authority, then I believe we also need to say with certainty that,

It does not involve a husband’s entitlement to lord it over his wife.
It does not involve a husband’s right to enforce submission, obedience, or control.

So one more time (for those who you who have been around the track with me on this subject in the past) Do you agree that these are necessary implications? If not, help me/us. What am I missing?

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101 Responses to “Marital Authority”

  1. scottn says:

    Hey Mart, I struggle with the idea of how to lead my family as a husband. Who’s the boss? Last week I wrote a poem my wife was sure I wrote about our marriage. The poem was not about our struggles but it did seem to maybe touch on a marriage relationship. Keep us thinking
    Dangling Chains
    By Scott Newport

    Stuck in a prison
    With an open door

    Passing shadows
    Sliver of light

    One day with me
    There will be no escape

    A friend I have
    Relationships lost

    Dangling chains
    Clanging out my song

    One creaking step
    Cries my bones

    Closer to the door
    Or closer to him.

  2. SJohnson says:

    I disagree with your point that the Bible isn’t clear, however I totally agree with your point that this responsibility must not be misinterpreted or abused. In Ephesians 5:22-24 (NIV), we read that “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

    What so often gets left out is the responsibility of the husbands v 25-30, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.”

    The greatest example we as husbands have is the example of Christ (and you could write a book on what this looks like – in fact many have)

    Final point, as you stated, to whom much is given, much will be required. Simply by taking the vows of marriage, we as husbands and wives are taking on the responsibility, so the expectation is already there. It is up to us to meet the expectations of Christ to treat our wives as Jesus treated the church.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Ephsians 5:22 Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands,as unto the Lord.
    :23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church;and he is the saviour of the body.
    :24 therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
    :25 Husbands love your wives,even as Christ also loved the church,and gave himself for it.

    Mart, there is certainly various opinions on this subject. The rebellious spirit will have great difficulty rendering to any authority. And so will make their case against the husband in favor of a dual head of the earthly family.

    I have to start with the beginning. Adam was first.

    1 Corinthians 11:8 For the man is not of the woman;but the woman of the man.
    :9 Neither was the man created for the woman;but the woman for the man.
    I know well that the above two verses come about as to speaking of covering a womans head while she prays. But the explanation Paul gives, clearly gives a chain of comand.

    Let me be clear. No man has the right by simply being a male to dominate and abuse a wife. This is not how Christ uses His authority over we the Church.

    But we men who have a wife are given a responsibility to our wives to follow Christ’s example in all things. And in so doing be the head of the family as the representitive to the family for Christ. even if it means laying down our lives for it.

    In some ways, this is what is done when a man gives his life to his wife, and so his family. Their needs always come first. His personal desires become sacrificed for them. This is the way of being Christlike.

    In taking a wife and so a family, a husband makes oaths to God. ” A vow to cherish “. It is a very serious thing to make a vow to God. A more serious thing not to honor it.

    With a broken vow comes a broken family.

    We each all have the personal responsibility to either accept or reject Jesus. This is individual. Marriage is no longer an indivdual matter but a commitment. For a man to treat his wife as Christ treats his wife, The Church. Christ is the head of the Church, The husband is the head of his wife.
    I accept my responsibility with trembling and fear. For I must answer to God for how I have handled what he has given to me.


  4. SFDBWV says:

    1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specillay for thoes of his own house, he hath denined the faith and is worse than an infidel.

    Please allow me to examine this simple statement. If any not provide for HIS…thoes of HIS…HE hath denied.
    The gender being spoken to here is male. Husband of the union. The words THEY are not found here.

    And the end result of such behavior from a husband is that HE is worse than an infidel.

    What would be worse than an unbeliever? A believer that has the knowledge of Christ and has accepted the Holy Spirit but has denied both unto the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and therefore eternal damnation.

    Men, please do not cede your God given responsibility as head of your house. But rather stand up to the responsibility and show honor to God who gave it to you.


  5. mtman says:

    I posted a response for you on the strong woman topic.

  6. Laurielee says:

    Today’s blog leaves me even more confused concerning the topic I asked for help with last night. Implications, hmm…
    So I am cast into repeating the words Pilate uttered, “What IS truth?”
    Is it acceptable Christ-like behavior to throw people into confusion? If we are wishy-washy about where we stand on subjects, does this make a confident Christian?
    (I’m only asking these questions rhetorically, not directed at ANYONE.) If we are uncertain about the stance we hold on issues, how does this translate into confidence in presenting the Gospel? Is everything, besides being saved by grace alone, merely suggestions of behavior we must try, with Christ’s help to exemplify?
    If a sinner accepts Christ, but continues with the very same behavior, is he still saved? How would we look any different to the world than those that are not saved? Are we actually standing up for Christ when we do not present the whole Gospel, for fear of alienating some? Are there a whole lot of us sitting on the fence, unwilling to share the Gospel because it might offend someone? I was always told that the Word of G-d was convicting to all of us who sin. Do we NOT want people to be convicted of sin, or their need for a Savior? Do we, in fact, find our NEED a Savior, if we’re not convinced that we’re sinning? If we water down the Gospel in order to draw people in, will they turn aside when they learn that there’s more to being a Christian?
    If the road is wide that leads to destruction, and many are traveling it, and the road is narrow that leads to eternal life, but few find it, what do the few know that the many do not? Not everyone who stands before Christ on the last day will be saved…”Lord, didn’t we do all these things in your Name?” “Away from me, you evildoers, for I knew you not.”

    Thank you to GT, Rick, and Daisy who acknowledged my questions.

    Another, if same-s*x marriage is not wrong, WHO is the head of the family? Was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah merely “inhospitality”?
    If we need to know nothing else, why is there more to the New Testament than the crucifixion and resurrection story, and “Love one another”?

    Though I’m having a bit of cognitive dissonance, my faith is not shaken. Abraham believed G-d before the first word of the Scriptures was ever written.

  7. Loretta Beavis says:

    I experience the Bible’s words to submit to my husband with NO RELIEF from his
    bad behavior. There’s sufficient scripture to be kind to all and not abusive. But then the very word wife SINGLES ME OUT out for domination. I’m at a loss for the right words to say, but its obvious to me the scripture says in all human relationships, male or female, we are to treat each other with love. Then, the marriage relationship becomes AN EXCEPTION to loving treatment where husband is a ruler over his wife, with no escape for a wife, if her Christian husband is abusive. You aren’t living in reality if you make or support statements like, “well, sure, if he’s beating her or physically harming her” What I call the “only if” clause What about all the bad behavior that is around that??? Controling money, choices, teasing, harrasment, intimidation, with-holding things and affection, sexual aggression (behavior), endless criticism, social isolation…what about when the physical abuse started and stopped? When he won’t cross “the line” but is always with one toe on it.
    Why did God want this control over the wife in exception to love one another? Why did God openly say He hates divorce ? But why didn’t He openly say he HATES abusive husbands or abusive spouses??? I get married in an act of trust. I’m living in wilderness, as though God is letting me suffer the consequences of remarriage or something. The wedding vows and promises were/are meaningless. Every day I have to take steps to fight off depression. One of the best things is after I’m up, I listen to ODB online. There’s a voice to God’s word and it gives me strength. I understand now, what part of my behavior gets me into friendships that hurt me. The info from some RBC booklets have helped me more than anything ever did. I’ve stopped depending on my husbands approval of my desires and interests. But, still, there’s no safety, no love. I remarried longing for companionship and closeness. I’m such a fool. I’m waiting and begging God will give me a safe way out.
    I appreciate this blog so much. It fills in, among other things for me, a great gap of communication and social-ness the church around me (churches) lack or are afraid to address.

  8. Mart De Haan says:


    My guess is that you’d agree that there is no virtue in being sure about more than we know.

    I don’t see how an encouragement to think carefully about the difference between possible and necessary implications of a text takes us to the point of your questions.

    I wish you’d clarify why you believe it is wishy-washy to attach authority to no more or no less than the necessary implications of Scripture.

  9. Laurielee says:

    Mr. Mart, Yes, I agree that there is no virtue in being sure about more than we know.

    I surely didn’t mean to upset you or anyone else. Please forgive me if I did. My post was a continuation of searching for answers that I was looking for last night.

    There are many passages in the Bible whereupon possible implications are just that, possible. I’m assuming that we are supposed to use the context of the issue, like in this case, the husband being the head, with what of the rest of the passage says. The husband is given headship, but along with it, a responsible, wise, kind choice of how he treats his wife.

    I, possibly mistakenly, because of what was already on my mind,was thinking of necessary implications of passages that are decisive, that are specifically mentioned as wrong, and that the answers seem to be avoided in asking for clarification…hence my questions. In the area that I live, it is getting increasingly difficult to find those willing to take a stand on what the Bible says, and the hard passages that are very specific on behaviors are increasingly ignored. I apologize, I used the term “wishy-washy” meaning that it appears that more and more people are steering away from passages that are controversial in favor of those that won’t offend.

    Once again, I apologize.

  10. SFDBWV says:

    Laurielee, I had to go back to the last topic and read your question to add to your questions today, before I could reply to your subject.

    The answer I would give you is simple but may seem complex to some. But I will try.

    Think of a ladder, a ladder to a better understanding of God and a placement with HIM in eterity.

    Jesus placed the ladder there by HIS sacrifice. The only way to God is by using the ladder Jesus provided.

    The first rung of the ladder is accepting Jesus as Savior and thereby gaining eternal salvation from Hell.

    Laurielee, some people never go any farther than this one rung. That will not change the fact that they are saved. But will impede their placement with God in eternity.

    Here in this world sin still abounds. With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we now are made aware of our own sin. By listening to the Holy Spirit we stop practicing that sin and even though we are already foriven, sin still keeps trying to pull us back into it’s grip. This will be the case until the great dragon is placed into prison at the return of Jesus Christ. There will always be a struggle, until then.

    There is certainly right and wrong behavior. The Word of God gives us rules to live by. It also gives us explanation of behavior that is not acceptable to God.

    The devil, we are told, is the author of confusion. The body of Christ is the enemy of satan, and under attack all the time. There are plenty of people who do not know the Word of God and so they have a weakness in their armor that allows for the firey darts to penetrate and wound them. Their witness and ability to transend the ladder is diminished.

    When Christ returns and sets up His Kingdom. There will be no sin in the earth anymore. Here and now we are to live as if we already were living in that Kingdom, to the best of our ability with the help of the Holy Spirit.

    We all fail to some degree but as we overcome, we continue to climb the ladder.

    All sin is wrong behavior, homosexual behavior is wrong.Same sex marriage isn’t a marriage from God but a legal transaction made here by mans attempt to govern himself. By all I know of God he would not condone nor bless a homosexual union in the same way we understand marriage between Adam and Eve (man and woman).

    The arguments that you see and hear in todays pulpits favoring homosexuality is a testimony of the end of the age.

  11. Laurielee says:

    Steve, thank you very, very much! I really liked the ladder analogy, and what you’ve said really does help. Since I am the one being confused here, I guess I should assume it’s me being attacked. Thanks for putting some perspective on the situation.

  12. Mart De Haan says:

    Laurielee, and thanks to you for your clarification. No need to apologize. The value of this kind of blog is that we can push back or ask for clarification– both ways :-)…

  13. GeeTee says:

    I have a question concerning yesterdays thread and I address it to Rick123. “Where did you find that pseudo-spiritual psychobabble mess that you attribute to Mary?”

  14. GeeTee says:

    Laurielee; May I offer a suggestion that always brings me around when the troubling thoughts and times plague me? Without fail I go to the 5th chapter of Romans and read prayerfully, with confidence that the promises are for me. Right here, right now. Even proceeding through the subsequent chapters up until the 12th. Out loud, in full assurance that they’re mine. Have seen me through many a hard spot, I assure you. Let us pray that what may seem like a dark place will lead you into brighter light. Peace, sister. GT

  15. pegramsdell says:

    Good lesson Steve. Clear and precise. Can’t wait to get to the top of the ladder…..:)

  16. poohpity says:

    I believe when you take scripture as a whole and consider what it says about how to treat every person you will never go wrong. That would also fit into a marriage as well that treating another as better than yourself. If you are trying to out do each other, out do each other with kindness, how can that go wrong. It also says to loves others as you love yourself and would you give permission to someone to harm another I do not think so. So no matter what kind of relationship are we treating others as we would like to be treated.

    It was already said that Jesus laid down His life as a ransom for many, He also gave up His Deity to humble Himself to show us what was truly meant by loving. He also told us by His example to serve others. He also said when you look at someone with anger in your heart you a guilty as if you murdered them. So He has given us a perfect example to follow it is when we take scripture out of context to fit what one would have it fit and not use the whole.

    Very good analogy Steve. I think it would be a blessing to have a husband that had those thoughts of caring.

  17. kaliko88 says:

    Loretta, my heart is crying for you. I wish I could offer some clear advice, but I think I would be just as torn if I were in your position. I think, though, I would keep looking for someone to help intervene. It doesn’t have to be someone from the church, though someone who is a believer would be most ideal. At such a great distance though, all I can really offer is a prayer.

    Laurielee, I know it’s confusing with so many perspectives on the bible’s teachings. I simply try to focus on the one thing that is common among all believers. They look to Jesus and move towards Him. We may all be coming from very different directions, but we all look to Him. As for what the bible teaches, I think that’s why we’re supposed to read it daily, year after year. It takes a lot of repetition for us to learn anything, with a lot of correction and refinement. I already notice that I don’t look at some things the same way I did even just a few years ago. And as I move closer to Jesus, my perspective on everything else around me changes, too.

    And that probably means that we have to keep looking at this issue, over and over again. I agree Mart, those are necessary implications. I think the word authority is greatly misunderstood, and too many twist it to gain power.

  18. poohpity says:

    As I was reading this morning it came to mind that God does not need us to defend Him or His ways, God is very capable. If we live the way He has given us to live and do what He has given us to do that in itself will bring Honor and Glory to Him.

    When God found none that were righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah, He did not use Abraham to go and say what you are doing is wrong. God shared with Abraham His plan because Abraham was His chosen just as He has chosen us and shared His commands and commissions with us. God has given us direction as to what our behavior should emulate, that of the Son. Jesus told us to Love the Lord our God with all of our mind, heart, and soul. Also to love our neighbors as ourselves. That will show who we are. That also includes in a marriage.

  19. Laurielee says:

    Thank you all for your insights!

    GeeTee, Maybe a problem I’m having is that in reading the Bible through each year, it takes quite awhile to get to the Epistles where some things are made more clear…but I can guarantee I’ll be reading Romans tonight, starting with Chapter 5. Your input really means alot. Thank you.

  20. laney says:

    GeeTee I left you a message on a surprisingly strong woman.

    BruceC there is one there for you also. I was having trouble with my internet service yesterday so I didn’t get to answer your question right away.

  21. GeeTee says:

    Seems you’ve done it again, Mart. This entire “head of the woman, marital authority” issue never fails. Being a single man and never married has it’s advantages, my friend. It’s not an issue I take sides with either. I believe the passages of scripture that address this particular aspect of Christian living can seem overbearing and cumbersome to a wife that may be married to a tyrant, and I could see where she would fight the “Wives, submit to your own husbands…” passages that may give the appearance of oppression. The spirit of the instruction is far from oppression, from the husband standpoint. This one has probably stirred up more heated arguments and debates than any other block of scripture in the whole bible. Hands down! Over the years I’ve lived with brothers and sisters and their spouses, and with friends and their wives. Never in a regenerated-marriage home, and it was “cat and dog” each time. Always reaffirmed my glad that I’d never. Got married, that is. I’m from a large family(3&3) so I had plenty of nephews and nieces to interact with on the child-rearing side, and that satisfied the parental aspect of life for me. Probably would’ve been a good(?) husband if the drugs wouldn’t have been in the way, but who knows. No regrets in that department, rest assured. Marriage would seem to be a reciprocating compromise if lived out in the true way. But maybe that’s just a weak attempt to categorize something that I don’t have real knowledge of. Only looking through the window at the way others did it. I’m not sure that what it says in scripture should be taken in the time&culture light of it, because I believe that even though Paul layed it down it was inspired by the Spirit of God, and His vision reaches through time a little farther than Paul’s. So now whatta we do? Have faith, hope, love, pray, trust and obey. And that’ll never change. Good day. GT

  22. laney says:

    Loretta,I’am so so sorry for what you are going through.I know from experience what you are going through.Beleive me I know.Unfortunately I have no answers for you.But I know the Lord hears your prayers and he will show you a way out.I do not beleive this is the Lords will for you to be abused.Your husband will have to answer to the Lord someday the way he is treating you.But I do understand what you are going through.Many a night I cried to theLord you have to do something I can’t take anymore.My husband wasn’t only verbably abusive to me but also to my 80year old mother.There would be times my mother or me would have to leave the house in tears just to get away from him for some peace.One time he went on one of his screaming rampages because the baked ziti I cooked was a little to dry.I had to leave the house for a while till he calmed down.He complained about the ziti for a good couple of days.He did not let up about it.I never knew when he would blow up or why.One day I was on the porch telling with my mother discussing how beauitful my garden looked that spring.He came out and said what are you complaing about.I told him nothing we were saying how beauitful the flowers looked.Some how he managed to blow up and turn what I said into an hour or more of screaming and yelling at me and my mother.I think the Lord knew my mother and I could take it no longer.He wasn’t saved and was always throwing God up in my face and mocking God when he was mad at me.Needless to say my husband is no longer with me.He passed away suddenly.Some times I think maybe it was the Lords doing because of the abuse.I don’t know.All I know is My mother and I were praying for help and an answer and that is the one we got.I will keep you in my prayers your heavenly Father is watching over you and he is collecting every tear you cry.Father God I pray peace over this household.Let my sister feel your love and presence when she starts to feel depressed over this situtation.May she seek your will and guidence in what to do.Father I ask that you can open her husbands eyes to see how much he is hurting his wife.I also pray that he will seek you and your will for his marriage.In Jesus name I pray.If you have any prase and worship music try putting on some it will help the depression.It is hard to stay depressed when you are in his presence.God Bless you.

  23. Charis says:


    I love your post, all of it.

    Several commenters,

    You have called the husband “the head of the family” but this is a christian myth. The Bible nowhere says it, and personally, I think it is very dangerous taken to its extreme! There are sects where daughters are raised to be their father’s “help meet”. A daughter is NOT her father’s help meet, nor is the father “the head” of his daughter. Some of the extreme forms of this are warped and damaging to young ladies IMO. (look up covert incest and Botkin syndrome)

    The husband is ONLY “the head of the wife”, not of the children, nor the household. One of the best kept secrets in christendom is that Paul preached in 1 Tim 5:14 that the WIFE is to be “master of a house or head of a family, to rule the household” If you visit the online greek lexicon resource of Tufts
    University you will find the definition of the greek for which translators chose the muted “guide” and “manage”. oikodespotes (note the despot in the middle?, “despot” means approximately the same in English as in Greek). In the Tufts lexicon, see oikodespot-eô and oikodespoteō from 1 Tim 5:14 to be master of a house or head of a family, to rule the household. Have you ever heard before that WOMEN are to be “master of the home”/ “queen of the castle”?

    The title of this post is “marital authority”. I really do not see any reason to remove any marital authority from the husband. I think husbands should be taught that they have authority and that they are responsible to wield their authority wisely. But wives need to be equally well taught that they have authority and that they are responsible to wield their authority wisely.

    God said in Genesis 1
    27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over ….

    As far as I know, God never retracted his mandate for them= male AND female to “have dominion”.

    ’bout time we obeyed!

  24. Wordgazer says:

    I’d like to give just a few random thoughts in response to some of what has been said.

    1 Timothy 5:8 says, “If ANY provide not for his own. . .” That word “any” there in the original language, would refer to both men and women. The male pronouns in the Greek work the same way they used to work in English– the “he” or “his” pronoun was taken to indicate both men and women unless context otherwise indicated. So we can’t take the simple presence of a male pronoun, especially when accompanied by that word translated “any,” and infer that it is referring to only males. An example of this is in 2 Cor. 5:17 — if anyone (same word) is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Since salvation is extended to male and female alike, we know the male pronoun there does not refer only to men.

    Second, the “gospel” is the good news of salvation we receive when we put our trust in Christ and make Him our Lord and Savior. Other matters in the Bible, such as male-female relations, are secondary to that essential gospel message. It is not “watering down the gospel” to believe the Bible supports a different message about marriage than the traditional authority-submission one. I believe it is important to remember that the teachings of the New Testament on how to relate to one another, all come under the heading of “love one another.” If, instead of guidelines on how to love, we turn them into a bunch of external rules, then we are adding law to the grace of God. When we walk in the Spirit, when we walk in love, we are not under law. Gal 5:18.

    Third, I believe it is important to remember that God’s Word came to different peoples at different times, and that His words must first be understood as being spoken to those people, at that time. This is not to say they don’t apply today– but that when we understand what His words would have meant to them, we can more properly understand how we should read them today. For instance, how was divorce commonly understood at the time God said, “I hate divorce?” Divorce at that time was only allowed for men. Men could divorce their wives; wives could not divorce their husbands. And without husbands, women were without any means of support. They could either starve, or turn to a life of sin. God’s speaking His hatred of divorce must first of all be seen as a hatred of a practice by which a man could easily, with few consequences to himself, abandon his wife to such a state. Looked at this way, we can see God’s love for women in those words, “I hate divorce.” Should we then believe that these words are to be used now to give women no escape from husbands who are abusing and treating them cruelly?

    Finally, along those same lines– it is certainly true that there is an authority structure being assumed in the Eph. 5 passage. Wives are to submit to husbands, children to parents, slaves to masters. But does this mean that the authority structures assumed by the passage were designed by God? Was slavery originally God’s design? If not, are we sure male authority over wives was God’s design? Charis has stated very cogently that the original plan in the first chapter of Genesis was clearly that the male and female were to have authority together, over the other creatures. The authority of men over their wives is connected instead to sin and the Curse.

    In light of this, it then seems enlightening that the Eph 5 passage begins with “submit to one another” in verse 21– and goes on to refer to the husband-wife relationship as a head-body relationship of oneness in which the husband is told to love as Christ loved, self-sacrificially. Did not Christ’s love involve letting go of his authority and submitting to the state of being a servant? If the authority of husbands was something assumed by the culture, and not necessarily designed by God– then the passage makes sense as an encouragement to husbands to lay down their culturally-given authority. I do not believe it should be construed as an affirmation of “he shall rule over you” as now being God’s will for marriage for all time.

    If the passage in Eph 5 is seen as the word of God coming within the cultural assumptions in such a way as to redeem it, then we should not take those cultural assumptions as God’s will for men and women for all time. Rather, we should understand that the cultural norms were to be subsumed within “submit to one another in the fear of Christ,” (v. 21) for we are all one in Him.

    The understanding of all humanity as equal came originally from a Christian understanding of salvation. The cessation of the practice of slavery was directly related to this understanding. The cessation of the practice of authority-submission in marriage, looked at in this light, need not be equated with secular feminism, but should be evaluated in its own right as an interpretion of the principles of Biblical love, unity and freedom in Christ.

  25. Rick123 says:

    Truth from the Bible about Marriage.

    Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
    (Lexicon Results for submit: Meaning 1) to arrange under, to subordinate 2) to subject, put in subjection 3) to subject one’s self, obey.)

    Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing.
    (Lexicon Results for subject: Meaning 1) to arrange under, to subordinate 2) to subject, put in subjection 3) to subject one’s self, obey.)

    1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
    (Lexicon Results for subjection: Meaning 1) to arrange under, to subordinate 2) to subject, put in subjection 3) to subject one’s self, obey.)

    To understand “authority,” one must understand who is the Source of all things. According to scripture, the one who is the source of all things, is God the Father. He is the head of the family, he rules supreme over all things that he has given life. We and Jesus are the Father’s family, and are under the Father’s “authority.” The Father gives Jesus his authority to rule supreme over his family, and all things. The Father through Jesus will give his authority to those that are worthy to rule as kings over all his things.

    So the wife is subject unto his husband in the Lord, and we(wife) are subject unto our husband-Jesus, and the Lord Jesus is subject unto his Lord-who is his Father and God forever.

    All the Father’s sons are his servants, starting with Jesus whom he(Father) has given all power. The Father is not a servant, and never will be a servant. Nor will he ever be subject unto anyone, for he is the Only One True Source(head) over all that Is. All that Is, has it’s being from the Only One True Source, who is the Father.

    The Son(Jesus) and all sons feed from the Father’s power to live, but the Father feeds from no one to live. For there is no other power besides him, nor is there any other power over him.

  26. BruceC says:


    Thanks for your response on “Strong Woman”. I have been through Forestport numerous times, but not Boonville. We have camped/fished Eigth Lake out of Inlet(love that place) and we usually go to Wilmington and stay at the KOA there. I love to fish the W. Branch of the AuSable at the foot of Whiteface Mtn. Gorgeous area. Cooperttown has changed a great deal since I moved to the arae 38 years ago. Now it’s way too “touristy” for my liking.

    I was the first to respond to this topic early this AM but my dial-up went belly up and it never posted. Oh well, maybe next time.

  27. poohpity says:

    It would seem Rick123 you have some confusion about who Jesus is. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are one. So in light of that no human can be compared to the person of Jesus Christ.

  28. daisymarygoldr says:

    If you are convinced that in allowing a husband to exercise authority and rule his wife… all too often followers of Christ reinforce the curse (Gen 3:16) rather than reaching for the original ideal… then your conviction should apply to all of the curse. This means…

    Followers of Christ reinforce the curse when they allow the poor serpent to crawl on his belly. Followers of Christ reinforce the curse when they kill the snake to defend themselves. Followers of Christ reinforce the curse every time we grow our food rather than reaching for the original provision of eating fruits from trees.

    Ok, now I’m trying real hard but it is very difficult to keep a straight face while writing this funny one: Followers of Christ reinforce the curse when we clothe ourselves, rather than reaching for the original ideal of walking around naked and not be ashamed. Or how about something more serious…? Followers of Christ reinforce the curse every time we return to dust by burying our dead

    I don’t think they all sound like possible implications, do you? Sin has its consequences and disobedience will never go unpunished.

  29. daisymarygoldr says:

    For deceiving the woman, God punished the snake to crawl and eat dust. For bonding in friendship to break His command, God punished them with lifelong enmity. For listening to the serpent, God punished the woman with child birth pains. For defying God’s order and stepping forward to lead her husband, her punishment is to be ruled/led by her husband.

    God has ordained for the man to exercise authority and rule his wife. To rebel against man’s authority is to rebel against God’s authority. Every time this order is defied, conflicts plague a marriage… because a marriage cannot function with 2 heads. Hence, male rule is the God-given prescription to maintain orderliness and peace within a marriage. Therefore, it is not a possible but an absolute necessity that the head-body word picture does imply the husband-authority to lead.

    For eating what his wife provided for him instead of it being the other way around, God punished the man to provide… by heavy labor and toiling. You are right; if a husband has been given authority over his wife it must involve a responsibility before God.
    Although it sounds really cool for a man to exercise authority, I don’t think it is all that fun… to bear the responsibility of providing for the family. Personally, I have seen my father worry about finances but my mother used to sleep through it all with not a single worry. During this crisis that we are facing right now, the very thought of paying 2 mortgages is causing creases on my husband’s forehead whereas I’m taking it all in my normal stride.

  30. daisymarygoldr says:

    I agree that “It does not involve a husband’s entitlement to lord it over his wife.” Husband simply loves his wife as himself to the point that his love compels the wife to respond with respect… to accept his leadership role and gratefully appreciate him as her provider and lord.

    Also agree that “It does not involve a husband’s right to enforce submission, obedience, or control”. The Church submits and subjects herself to the authority of Christ. There is no enforcement or control but a willful submission… He leads and we follow. Similarly, in response to the selfless and sacrificial love of the husband, the wife submits to his authority with love.

    “…for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God”. Let us then obey and follow the marital authority which God Himself has instituted, for husbands to lead with love and wives to respectfully submit as unto the Lord.

  31. daisymarygoldr says:

    Laney, I’m touched by your story… God had indeed watched over you and saw you through those terrible times. Praying for you…

  32. Rick123 says:

    poohpity: You say I am confused, Jesus visited me in a dream and healed me. I saw his nail prints in his hands, and he touched my sick head with his right hand and healed me.

    One day I asked God, who are you? to my surprise, he answered me in an audible voice, and said: I am the God of your forefathers, I am the God of Abraham, I am the God of Isaac, I am the God of Jacob, and there is no other God but me.

    About five minutes passed and I had and open vision, in which I saw tables of stone spinning toward my face, when they reached me, they collided on my forehead, I felt the impact and a wind.

    Jesus is?

    Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

    Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    Mar 8:29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

    Mar 14:61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

    Mar 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

    Luk 4:41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking [them] suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.

    Jhn 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

    The Father is?

    Remember, Jesus quoted the Torah: Deu 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: (Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:)

    Paul said: 1Cr 8:6 But to us(Paul and the Church in Christ) there is but [one God, the Father], of whom are all things, and we in him; and [one Lord Jesus Christ], by whom are all things, and we by him.

    [one God, the Father] [one Lord Jesus Christ]

    Jesus and Paul agree with each other that their God is One, who is the Father, whose name is the LORD(YHVH)

    Noticed what the resurrected Jesus said: Jhn 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to [my Father]: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto [my Father], and your Father; and to [my God], and your God.

    [my Father], and your Father;= We have the same Father

    [my God], and your God.= We have the same God

    (Noticed the resurrected Jesus called his Father…Four times God.)
    Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of [my God], and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of [my God], and the name of the city of [my God], which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from [my God]: and I will write upon him my new name.

  33. Ted M. Gossard says:

    I agree, and well worded, Mart. I do believe man ruling over woman was a result of the fall, and not a part of creation.

    That said, I do believe there is kind of an interplay going on, put (as is everything) in a cultural context- in Ephesians 5. There wives are not told to obey their husbands. There is a loving give and take there. And you state it quite well here.

    It helps to see the cultural context into which Scripture is written. This casts a light on things which make it impossible for me to buy our traditional understanding and teaching. And we need to see it in the goal of God’s kingdom in Jesus. When we do, I think we find an equality worked out in the differences the genders have.

  34. SFDBWV says:

    Rick123, Are you denying the Trinity?

    John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,and the Word was God.”

    1 John 5:7″ For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father,the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

    Matthew 28:19 ” Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Equal in all things.

    Everything that was said of God is also said of Jesus, and so the Holy Spirit.

    Just because some people can’t understand how God can be all three persons, does not mean, it can not be.

    It is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit…”The Lord God is One.”


  35. chapmartin says:

    With Eph. 5:22ff and 1 Tim 5:8 in mind, I do agree that there should be the headship (and responsiblility) of the husband in marriage. I do not believe that this is a continuation of the curse, though some husbands make sure that such is the case.

    If husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, then they are to “Cherish” (Eph. 5:29) their wives and provide for them and the family(1 Tim 5:8). Christ loved the church (His Bride) to the point of dying for Her. Many wives who have husbands willing to die for them have little problem submitting to that kind of man. With these passages, the domineering idea of authority is replaced with the husband leading in the example of self-sacrifice.

    At any rate, what we decide about marital authroity will have broader implications outside the home. For if I am correct, Paul builds his builds his model for the church on his model for the home.

    Loretta, praying that God sends wise Christian encouragers across your path soon to help direct you through this storm.

  36. pegramsdell says:

    Wordgazer, well put. I like your random thoughts.
    We get into trouble when we try to interprete what God meant into what we think. Big mistake. God is love, why would He want anyone to “lord” over anyone else. He is all about “love”. Why can’t we be all about love too.
    Stop trying to make our point and know the truth instead! Only then will we be truly free. God has never changed.

  37. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, I’m intrigued but unconvinced by your effort to show that it’s necessary to reinforce the “huband-rule” dimension of the curse because there are other things in the curse that we also cannot change.

    It’s true that we cannot eliminate the tendency of a self-absorbed husband to dominate his wife, any more than we can change the nature of a snake, the need for clothes, the struggle to get a harvest, or the certainty of death.

    But by God’s grace husbands can let the Spirit of Christ change our hearts so that we do not dominate our wives.

  38. mtman says:

    I have read and re-read the following statement and there is something wrong with it that I can’t put my finger on.
    “My guess is that you’d agree that there is no virtue in being sure about more than we know.”
    Also I don’t believe there will be any consenses on this topic because of where we may happen to be in this life and our marriage relationship. I tend to be in agreement with Steve, (excellent ladder explanation), Pooh and Daisy who both posted an excellent analysis. My admiration simply grows for Laney whom laid her life open for us to see how a good Christian woman deals with heart ache and abuse. And others who posted good points.
    It seems that this particular topic does nothing but cause derision and controversy. Reminds me of opening a washing machine because the first thing you see is an aggitator. My heart does go out to those who suffer through abusive and bad marriages. I am not insensitive and have been there myself too. GT presents a very good opinion from one who is outside marriage in my opinion.
    For those who are suffering in a bad relationship this topic has to be irritating. What woman exists that would not prefer to have a husband who loved her so much that he would willlingly lay down his life for her? A husband who was a true believer and practiced that belief in love? Would such a husband with a right heart abuse his wife. I hope not and I doubt it. To me this topic is a call to men to be that kind of husband. To disagree over who is the head seems to be picking at nits. Why are we belaboring this topic I wonder? For what purpose? I have not read one post where a person has actually changed their opinion . Does the repeated presentation of this topic imply that we men should relinquish our responsibility? Step back and do nothing? That seems to be where it leads. In my first marriage a marriage counsler made the point that in marriage there is no 50/50. It can be 80/20 and constantly changes. I think that is true. Doesn’t wanting the best for the wife and elevating her above your needs mean that the man can still be the head but from a servant position. Do we really need to figure women out to be able to just love them? With the economy in the tank, homosexual marriage, wars with our troops coming back in body bags, abortion, permissive attitudes, confusion among good Christians as to values, isn’t trying to figure out what the head of a relationship really means like picking at nits? Those are my thoughts.

  39. SFDBWV says:

    I liked your last sentence, Mart, in your comments to Daisy.

    “By God’s grace husbands can let the Spirit of Christ change our hearts so that we do not dominate our wives.”

    I like things simple. The more complex an issue the more twisted and confused the conversation.

    There is a huge difference between dominating and leading. We lead by example, not pull others along by a chain of bondage.

    In one of the examples Jesus taught about Himself, he told about the owner of the vineyard and His attempts to get His sharecropers to get in line by sending messengers, whom they killed and then finally His Son whom they also killed. A clear picture story of God and Jesus and man.

    I am convinced that God had set up many of the laws and rules he reintroduced to Moses, in the Garden of Eden at the beginning. I am also convinced that the verbal history of retelling the things of God were exagerated and retold differently over time. That after the flood Noah’s children were guility of the same. Forgetting much and changing much of what they knew and were told about God.

    So that when God brought about a people to produce the promised Saviour, he also wrote with his own fingers the 10 basic laws. And through Moses produced the recording of His laws for them.

    Man being man had not changed, the laws written by Moses became interpeted to “mean” many different things than the original meaning. Jesus accused the keepers of the Law Himself of perverting it’s meanings.

    The book we have come to know as the Bible was written by men inspired by God to produce the Book we accept as the official Word of God.

    Man being man still has not changed. People want to reinterpept what was written to mean something else altogether, than was originaly written to mean.

    Which is what I like about your last sentence Mart. We must listen to the Holy Spirit’s teaching in the matter. We must examine the entire Word of God from Genesis through Revelation and be prayerfull in obtaining God’s will on the topic.

    In my final opinion, a Godly Christian man would not use his position to force his will upon his wife, any more than Jesus forces us to accept Him and His teachings. A man who hides behind the authority of scripture in order to control/abuse his wife. Is terribly misled and knows very little of the heart of God.

    The consequence is confusion, rebellion, destuction, and division in the Body of Christ.

  40. Oli says:

    I think CS Lewis says in the Four Loves, on the basis of Ephesians 5, that a man is most Christlike in his marriage when his marriage is most like a crucifixion! I guess this is the kind of headship Paul was also thinking about – the sacrificial kind.

  41. donjo says:

    I see those that appear to believe in male leadership extract verses from the pericope; this concerns me as a teaching unit should be treated as a unit, to not study the whole thing is a way of taking verses out of context. The pericope is from Eph 5:15-6:9. When one studies the whole pericope, one sees that ALL believers are called to submit to one another, not just wives to husbands. In 1st century culture, this included slaves obeying their master and kids obeying their parents, but as pointed out, Paul does not use the term obey for wives, even tho the teaching of Aristotle and Roman law would have led the reader to expect it. In this case, for me, the silence of Paul shouts and should be noted by exegetes, IMO.

  42. rokdude5 says:

    I think what Loretta is going through is exactly the scenario that Mart is trying to address here. (BTW, Loretta, I ll be praying for you too.)

    What comes to my mind is that the Scriptures does delineate the family hierarchy but this hierachry will only function as God intended it, if the husband is emotionally, mentally and spiritually capable of doing so. Us guys need to be a reflection of Jesus if we are to fulfill the obligation of marriage that we agree to do. Being abusive is truly not being Christ-like.

    What I am also thinking about is Solomon’s marriages to hundreds of women. Though there is no proof either way, it can be argued that Solomon loves having all sorts of wives for his pleasure. It also can be argued that Solomon’s marriages was the only sort of social welfare for divorced or widowed women who most likely have little ones in tow. The only recourse for them is begging and prostitution. Of course we all do know that Solomon fell away from God due these multiple wives. (What happened to his wisdom at that point?)

    Did Solomon served all those wives as he was supposed to do? I know its a lot of work lovingly serving one wife – I cant imagine trying to serve hundreds of them.

    Though God hates divorce, His grace does allow for it. To me its the same as not rescuing a fallen critter out of the pit just because it is the Sabbath.

  43. donjo says:


    You should check out the works of David Instone-Brewer on divorce. He points out that abuse and neglect are Biblical reasons for divorce. He is a 2nd temple scholar and is very credible.

    The family hierarchy is the parents are to lovingly rule over their children. A husband ruling over his wife is a travesty.

  44. poohpity says:

    Thank you so much for the smile you put on my face this AM.

    Thank you for addressing this issue again because obviously abuse is a big issue in our churches. I believe it is a generational problem that those who do not fully understand the bible as a whole keep passing down. Not only have women felt like they deserved to be treated as less than but the men have also felt like less than or they would not try and control. Anyone that understands who they are in Christ would not disrespect another human being for the power of control. It sure does open ones eyes to the healing needed in our churches and in each of our lives. There is also the problem of women abusing men so this has no specific gender delineation but to people in general so it is really a spiritual issue that plaques mankind.

    TY Steve for the help with the Trinity.

  45. laney says:

    I know where inlet is I’ve been there before.You have to go through Forestport and old Forge to get there.Old Forge is a tourist trap. If you stay on route 12 instead of getting off on route 28 that will take you right into Boonville.I have been to White Face mountain before. I also went to see the Ausable Chasm.You are right it is a gorgeous area.My father took me to White Face Mountain.He was a trout fisherman.He knew were all the streams were to go fishing.

  46. poohpity says:

    While just reading my bible in 1 Peter 5:5 “God opposes the proud, but favors the humble. And “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). It is so easy to look like a Christian when you are in front of people but behind the closed doors of our homes it is so easy to look like the followers of the adversary.

  47. mtman says:

    Your initial post above I thought pretty well sets out the husband/wife relationship. Same with your other similar posts. I don’t find anywhere that a husband can rule the wife. Many have already posted regardng this non Christian position. You keep sticking to this subject and we who post keep agreeing with you but I perceive that while you may post it, you may still have doubts yourself or are looking for something that just isn’t there. If you are looking for a totally different perspective or something to remove any doubt you may have I don’t think you will get it here. What I see is people in agreement with you but all stating it differently in their own way. If you want opposing opinion you need to get some folks involved who totally don’t agree otherwise you are just preaching to the choir. Maybe you are looking for a depth of discussion here that I don’t see or am unable to achieve. The topic I thought was husband/wife headship relationship and not abuse. Although each time this topic comes up it gravitates to abuse which we all agree is not Christ like and as wrong as it gets. I see people coming on this blog in pain and to me that is so frustrating because from a distance all I can do is pray for them. Sometimes it takes a hands on effort to be any consolation to someone hurting daily and not knowing how to handle their life situation. I am not diminishing prayer but sometimes it takes a skin and body person to properly minister to someone hurting as badly as some express here.
    What we really may need is someone on here who doesn’t agree with what scripture says and who will disagree. They would have to be totally out of their mind to come on and say God told them to rule their spouse. This group would verbally lynch them because we know that is not what the bible says. Of course we would do it in a loving way….
    If the bible is the inspired word of God then anyone who translates headship into ‘rule’ is one sick puppy in my mind. What am I missing with what you posted and your question???? I’m now confused over this topic. I agree that this blog and your topics are a very real blessing to all of us, especially me, but I think this topic may be like beating a dead horse. Again, what am I missing??

  48. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart De Haan, sorry you missed my attempt to apply your hunch to the curse in its entirety. What I meant to say is that followers of Christ are not reinforcing (that’s what you had implied) … I’m saying that we are merely conforming to the God ordained Marital authority.

    Post fall, God has designed for the serpent to crawl, God has designed for the mortal body to return to dust. Are we changing anything about it? Why then should we single out “husband-rule” to change what God had intended it to be? That is His will to accomplish His purpose… we cannot meddle with God’s doing… it will not help us in any way rather it will only cause us to be more miserable than ever.

    God has designed men to rule…they are born with this trait. The mark of a true Godly man is to exercise Christ-like authority… in order to maintain specific orderliness and peace in the marriage. We cannot go against this innate nature of male authority and ask a man to not be manly. It will then generate a whole breed of spineless, wimpy and hen-pecked husbands who are more than happy to give up responsibility and not provide for or protect their families.

    We don’t tell governing authorities to stop exercising their rule and we would never dare tell Christ to resign from His headship. Let a man be a man in every sense which God has created him to be.(aside to mtman: sorry mtman, if I sound like a sick puppy:)

  49. daisymarygoldr says:

    Yes, as you said the Spirit of Christ will only change the wicked attitude of a domineering husband to control/abuse his wife. If you want to help relieve the plight of women entrapped in the vicious arms of abusive men, teach Christ to them. If you think there are men who call themselves Christians and are anything but Christ-like, teach Christ to them.

    The need of the hour is not to teach and apply our wisdom and change the role of husbands… but to abide with what God has instituted in His wisdom for husbands… to allow the Holy Spirit to cause sin-hardened hearts of husbands… to transform so they will love and honor their wives. Transformed husbands will not sit around idly to watch football on TV the whole day. Transformed husbands will not watch porn the whole night. Transformed husbands will not get drunk or do drugs. Transformed husbands will recognize their God given role of authority… to love, cherish and nourish their wives.

    BTW, I’m not here to teach or convince any one about anything. Sorry, if my words are conveying that impression. Mart De Haan, if you want to teach or imply mutual authority instead of God given husband authority… then maybe you are right because you know it best. As for me, I will walk in the fear of the Lord to follow and obey what He has ordained about Marital authority.

  50. poohpity says:

    I do not feel that the man’s job to maintain orderliness and the peace in a marriage. It is about two people working together to achieve a common goal, that goal would be to serve Christ first individually then together. Christ’s example as head was to serve.


    This may not be an issue for you but there are folks that read this who may not post and find some answers for their current circumstances. The past blogs have opened up the door for many to be ministered to. If this is what Mart has been lead to discuss then obviously he follow this lead. At the beginning the very first paragraph discusses the reason for this topic.

  51. GeeTee says:

    Said it before and I’m sayin’ it again. THIS one stirs it up more than any other topic. It’s difficult to shake an idea and belief that’s been driven into my thinking for my entire life. That being the way I perceive the word “authority”. From the time we’re teeny little people our parents begin to exercise “authority” over us. Rightfully. Do this, don’t do that…or else. Our concept of “authority” can be distorted by the punitive way the authority holds our allegiance. This concept of “authority” is not to be confused with the biblical principle found in Proverbs, James, Hebrews, and other places where ‘God chastises those He loves’, etc….That whole administrative application of “authority”, and the way we’re taught to accept it, is nowhere near what is found in Holy Scripture. Jesus Christ is Lord, but does He display authority, or distribute love? His time to rule and reign will come, but it will come for willing subjects. We’ll rule and reign with Him. I know the girls have problem with this whole “authority issue”, and you’re entitled to. Somewhere along the way it would be cool if a little resolution would come our way, but I personally believe that for as long as radical feminists mold and shape women’s thinking, we’ll have this as a major concern in the church. We grow up in a world that shapes our belief system long before we think rationally or logically, and conversion comes to us and we’re expected to live by every last word being taught. Not likely to happen in todays world. Let us be open and honest and receptive and responsive to the teachings of Scripture would be forever my prayer. In all matters. GT

  52. mtman says:

    Daisy: You don’t sound like a sick puppy to me. I think I can give two examples of how I come down on this issue.
    One, when I was in the USAF I was in a special unit and worked for a full Army general. That man was a leader (or ruler if you prefer) and I would have as they say waded through hell itself with a chain saw for him. I would have followed him anywhere because I knew he cared personally and deeply for each of us. He was not an arm chair general, he was right there beside us. I want my wife to follow me like that, not because I can force her to or because I say so. Because she knows how I care for her more than life itself.
    Two, I had a secretary one time that had a very abusive husband. She would come to work sporting black eyes, busted and puffy lips wearing tons of make up or sun glasses to hide her shame. He was apparently okay until he drank which was often. Then he turned her into a punching bag.It got to the point that I finally told her coming in like that was disrupting the office. I explained to her that I did not want to lose her as she was the best secretary I had ever had. I asked her to tell her husband that if she ever showed up looking like that again that he and I would be having a serious heart to heart talk. If he needed a better explanation he could call me at work or home. Should she be beaten again there was not a rock big enough or small enough for him to hide under. Fear is a strong motivator sometimes even though I know it is not a very Christian thing to do. In his case it was strong enough for him to stop beating her which gave her time to reflect on her life and make the needed change because he sure would not change any. I made sure she had more than enough support at work to build her self esteem back to normal. I still hear from her today and she is doing well. Had he ever hit her again I would have left work and hunted him down. He knew that and also what the outcome would be. Fear works on occasion and yes I did ask God to forgive me but I also ask God not to let him know. I personally have no use whatsoever for a wife abuser.

  53. laney says:

    Mtman, Please don’t say that you admire me for a good christian woman for the way I dealt with the abuse.There were times that I know that I did not act the Christian woman and I would yell right back.For that I’am not proud and wish I could take it all back.The worse part was in the summer my neighbors could hear every thing that was going on.they would see me going to church 2or 3 times a week.I still feel that by my yelling back instead of keeping silent did not help my witness for Christ.But I at times couldn’t help it.It is not easy when someone is constantly screaming and yelling at you for you to just sit there and say nothing.When I would try and say nothing hoping it would put a stop to it he would only get madder.I have had him even go on these rampages in the stores beleive me it is very embarrassing.One time I ran out on the porch because he acted like he was going to get violent.He locked me out of the house.the only problem was it was in the middle of winter.I was in my stocking feet and a nightgown.I had no choice but to go into the bar next door and ask one of his firemen friends to drive me to a girlfriends house.It was that or stsy out and on the porch and freeze.I’am sorry that I’am bringing all this up.this is mild compared to some of the things I went through.But please don’t admire me because I did not at all look like a good christian woman.If I was maybe he wouldn’t have treated me this way.

  54. daisymarygoldr says:

    mtman, my heart resonates with yours about a wife abuser… that’s why all the more the word of God needs to be taught instead of finding innovative means to kick against the pricks of marital authority. Outside in the non Christian world, it is the fear of men but within the body, husbands ought to walk in the fear of the Lord.

    Laney, your Christian spirit is greatly admired. Praying that the love of Christ- our Spiritual husband will wipe away all those awful memories… for God’s peace to reign and rule in your life

  55. godsteddybear says:

    “as Christ loved the church” is a key element of this subject. I do believe in being a submissive wife but I also expect that my husband believes in being the kind of man who will love me as commanded in the Bible.

    I have a wonderful, christian husband who is very respectful and ‘takes care’ of me (as the head of the household and the stronger in body). I do not find this offensive or binding in any way. I have been in prior relationships with those who RULED me (abuse is abuse in any form). They are not the same. Ironically, he is the one who brought this blog to my attention today just because he knew it would interest me. That is part of how he “heads” this household. He cares about what I think and feel and pays attention to what interests me.

    In the same respect, my submission to him is because, first I believe in every word of the Bible, secondly because I care about what he thinks, feels and what his interests are. I don’t consider this something I HAVE to do. It is something I do because God wants it this way and because I love and respect my husband. That seems pretty simple.

    I’m not going to lie and say I do everything he asks or agree with everything he says or does. I fight my carnal self on a regular basis to stay submissive. Some days it takes lots of prayer. Most of all it takes COMMITMENT, to God and my marriage. However, this has also been a learning process. It didn’t happen over night but because we are committed to one another and the Christ, we strive to move closer to God and each other daily. I have a tendency to be ‘stubborn’ (ok, my husband is reading this and laughing now hehe!)so I am leaning on the Lord for guidance. My desire is not to be a slave but to be a good wife. My husbands desire is not to be a master but to be a good husband.

    Keep talking and keep making us think :)

    God Bless

  56. Wordgazer says:


    Please don’t believe for a moment that his abuse was your fault. It wasn’t. Abusers like to blame the victim; unfortunately, the church sometimes does too.

    Daisymarygoldr, I do have some questions about the idea that we are just supposed to live with the consequences of the Curse. The main part of the curse was death– which Jesus came to deliver us from. Are we not allowed to do anything to mitigate the Curse?

    Is it against God’s will that we invented tractors, harrows, and fertilizers? That we machine-harvest our food to cut down on the toil? Is it against God’s will that women take medications to ease the pain of childbirth? Is it against God’s will that we learn health practices that extend our lives, or that we try to save the lives of those who are dying?

    If these are against God’s will, then show me where in the Scriptures it tells us that we must always live under the Curse.

    (As for the snake thing– I don’t get that part of the argument. Surely we can agree that the passage was not talking about ordinary snakes, but about a self-aware, intelligent tempter of mankind.)

  57. Mart De Haan says:

    I agree with you that there is not much of a problem if husbands and wives generally treat one another with Christ-like love. Thanks for your patience with me…

    My concern is not just for wives who are being mistreated in the name of biblical authority, but for the unchurched and young people who don’t understand the spirit of what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he talked about wives submitting to their husbands.

    Am guessing that many have not thought enough about how different those words would have sounded in a first century Greek/Roman and Jewish world where slavery was part of the social order,where husbands ruled their homes, and considered wives as property.

    Paul took the social expectations for husbands and wives and showed followers of Christ how to fill those roles with Christ-like attitudes.

    If that’s “preaching to the choir” then at least we are singing the same song :-)…

  58. laney says:

    Mtmnan, and as you can tell from reading my last message I’am not dealing well with what I went through.I guess this topic brought back all the bad memories for me.I know the Lord will help me heal in time.I have forgiven my husband.I hope in time I can remember some of the good times and some of his good qualities.

  59. mtman says:

    I wrote another post for you but it must have headed into cyber space. From my perspective you are a very good Christian woman. Maybe you see yourself different but I see you as someone to admire.
    Pooh: I have gone back and read Mart’s initial post for either the forth or fifth time now and I am still missing where this topic is specific to abuse. I know there are probably lots of folks who follow this blog who don’t post and I hope they find answers too. I also know my perspective is different from most and my thoughts relative to abusers, child molesters, and other low life probably doesn’t always track with being a good Christian example. For that I apologize and maybe someday should I live that long I will take a kinder attitude towards bottom dwellers. When it comes to some bad people I probably just need an attitude adjustment.

  60. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, is it really innovative “kicking against the pricks of marital authority” to:

    1. Define leadership as Jesus did (in his kingdom, those who lead are as those who serve.
    2. Point out the curse-context of “but he shall rule over you.”
    3. Show that marital authority is mutual in 1Corinthians 7:4.
    4. Explain that if a husband has been given authority over his wife it is to be understood as responsibility and accountability to love and protect rather than to use as an entitlement to marital submission and obedience.
    5. Be concerned about church and unchurched people who don’t read or hear Paul as his first century Greek, Roman and Jewish readers.
    6. Emphasize that whatever we have been given (even social authority if that is the case) is to be used for the good of others/the other.
    7. Show that even under the old covenant Abigail did not have to give into the family-risking behavior of her husband, Nabal (whose name means “fool”). 1Sam 25

  61. godsteddybear says:

    Lorretta, dearest, I have just read what you wrote. PLEASE read what I wrote before this.. I could have written exactly what you did, in my last marriage. NO I do not believe divorce is right. However, I wound up so sick spiritually and mentally from that relationship that I wound up in serious consequences. My ex would quote scripture to me about being submissive but not see the scriptures about his own behavior. I finally left him, not intending to divorce him, because of verbal abuse that was continuous and smothering. Still, I tried to work things out, praying, staying in church and hoping he would come around (after all the Bible says a spouse can be saved by us doing so). He did, long enough to convince me he was going to change and within that same week, he punched me square in my face because I had befriended a handicapped man and started taking him to church (where he gave his heart to the Lord for the first time in his 41 years PRAISE GOD!)

    From that night on, my life stopped. I quit everything from church to volunteer work. I gave up and became totally addicted to the abuse. Yes, you can become addicted to being abused. I wound up in a lot of trouble and walked away from the Lord, my only refuge. I did not want to divorce and I too relied a lot on RBC daily to keep me going. However, after he wound up in jail for 6 months for abusing me, I knew I had to get away or we were both going to be destroyed. AGAINST my christian beliefs, I filed for divorce.. then I started thinking..

    The scripture says if a husband or wife is not pleased to dwell with you or has an affair you have a right to divorce. I believe if he was pleased to dwell with me, he would not have been hitting me and putting me down every chance he got. We were separated and I understand still being under the same roof this rationization may not fit. I followed thru with divorce but still battled my demons on whether I was going to be right with God afterwards.

    What happened was, a wonderful, loving man has come into my life and now we both serve the Lord with all our hearts. I still feel like divorcing my ex was a sin. I even believe remarrying my new husband might have been (nothing in the Bible specifies about remarriage, but peoples opinions differ on that matter). Still, the Word says we have an advocate in Jesus Christ and He is faithful and just to forgive!! There are no large or small sins and the only unforgivable one is blasphemy, NOT DIVORCE.

    I will be praying for you honey that God will guide you into taking the necessary steps to ensure your safety, sanity and your spiritual walk with God. One thought I held onto for a long time was, I didn’t have to get a divorce but God DID NOT expect me to live with abuse. You said the Bible does not talk about abusive husbands. Maybe not exactly but there are scriptures to uphold that we are precious to God and He only wants good things for us. There is nothing good about being abused. We are also temples of the living God. Do we believe God would allow anyone to purposely abuse His temple? Of course not and WE ARE HIS TEMPLE no matter what anyone else tells us. He also said if we being carnal love our children as we do, how much more does our heavenly Father LOVE US? (I know I did not quote that from the scripture but thru my tears and my quick typing of the thoughts that are flooding out of my memory into my fingers I just wanted to keep talking).

    God forgave me sweetie. His grace and His mercy are amazing and I will never understand why He loves me so much BUT HE DOES. And I know He loves you too! and does not want to see you suffer. I don’t want to put any personal information out here in the open but you can find me on Bebo (do a search for godsteddy) if you need someone to talk to. I wish you only the best of God’s blessings.

    {{{snuggles}}} Gods Teddy

  62. Wordgazer says:

    Godsteddybear– I used to look at my marriage in much the same way you do. What my husband and I discovered, over time, was that when he loved me sacrificially and put my needs first, and when I submitted to him and put his needs first, we were actually practicing the “submit to one another” part of Eph 5 (v. 21).

    What became more and more clear to us, though, was that as an “ezer kenego” (a face-to-face strong helper), I needed to be standing by my husband’s side as an equal partner, shouldering his burdens with him. He did not need me sleeping peacefully at night while the whole burden of the finances rested on him (I’m not saying you do this, but someone else wrote that this was how her marriage worked). My husband needed me to speak up when he was about to take a wrong course– in fact, what he wanted and needed most from me was that I make decisions together with him, not that he make all the decisions and I just follow.

    In short, my husband made it clear to me as we grew older that he didn’t think I needed to be led, but that he wanted me to be a leader right there next to him. A team of joint leaders. This did NOT turn him into a wimpy, hen-pecked husband. In fact, it helped him to face up more fully to complete adult responsibility, because he no longer had a male privilege to get his own way– and *I* couldn’t wimp out and say, “I know it was a bad decision– but he’s the head of the house.”

    In fact, both of us have become more responsible over the finances than we used to be– because we are both taking full responsibilty as adult leaders in our house. Each of us listens more to the other. Each of us thinks harder about the effect our actions will have on the family.

    And guess what? He still loves me sacrificially and puts my needs first, and I still submit to him and put his needs first. The only dynamic that has changed is the authority-subordinate one. I’m in full submission to my husband’s desire that he not “lead” me but have an equal partner. It’s working great.

  63. godsteddybear says:

    Laney, I have gone back and found your posts too. My heart and prayers are with you too. Even in the wonderful marriage and life God has blessed me with, I still have to fight the memories. I forgave my ex too. Forgiving myself for my unchristianlike behavior is not so easy for me to forgive (I just have to tell myself “Jesus forgave me, who am I not too”?) Still, that does not completely wipe away all the hurt and damage to my self esteem. I pray every day for God to strengthen me and help me forget. You are not alone. We have so many others like us, and Jesus is always by our side. God Bless you.

    {{{snuggles}}} Gods Teddy

  64. Wordgazer says:

    I wanted to add that I think I sounded unintentionally judgmental in a comment in my last post.

    If it’s working well for someone’s marriage to have the husband in complete control of the finances, then I have no problem with that. That’s their marriage– I’m in no position to judge it. That dynamic did NOT work well in my marriage, however, nor did it provide my husband with the “ezer kenego” he needed. That’s all I’m saying. :)

  65. Rick123 says:

    SFDBWV: If Jesus and Paul believed that their God the Father is One, why should I believe in the trinity? which has it’s origins in babylon(confusion)…1Cr 14:33 For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    Pro 30:4 Pro 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what [is] his name,(The Father) and what [is] his son’s name,(Jesus the Son) if thou canst tell?

    Jhn 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.(According to Pro 30:4; “before the world was,” Jesus was the Son of God the Father. And when Jesus was resurrected by the Glory of his Father, Jesus took back his position besides his Father…1Pe 3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him…. angels and authorities and powers were made subject unto Jesus by his Father. The Father has given Jesus “authority” to act on the Father’s behalf as God, therefore Jesus is God. This “authority” that the Father give Jesus to act on his(Father) behalf as God, was given to him from the beginning….Jhn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word,(Son) and the Word(Son) was with God,(his Father) and the Word(Son) was God.

    Hbr 13:8 Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, today, and forever

    Hbr 13:8…yesterday(Pro 8:30; Pro 30:4; Jhn 1:1…Subordinate)…today(Col 3:1; Hbr 12:2; 1Pe 3:22…Subordinate)…forever(1Cr 15:28; 1Cr 11:3…Subordinate)…1Cr 15:28…The word meaning for subject according to the Lexicon: 1) to arrange under, to subordinate 2) to subject, put in subjection 3) to subject one’s self, obey 4) to submit to one’s control 5) to yield to one’s admonition or advice 6) to obey, be subject….So the Son Jesus is not above his Father and never has been, he will always be a subordinate Son. Whom God his Father has “given” him his life, and all things, Yes!!! even the right to be honored and worshiped for he is worthy.

    The Textual Problem in 1 John 5:7

    1Jo 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (KJV)

    1Jo 5:7 So we have these three witnesses.(NLT)…(5:7) Some very late manuscripts add in heaven—the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And we have three witnesses on earth.

    1Jo 5:7 For there are three that testify:(NIV)

    1Jo 5:7 For there are three that testify. (ESV)

    1Jo 5:7 For there are three that testify.(NASB)

    1Jo 5:7 And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.(RSV)

    1Jo 5:7 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth. (ASV)

    I believe that 1Jo 5:7, was changed(twisted) by men of corrupt minds to fit their agenda.

    Mat 28:19 Go [therefore] and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit;( Does Mat 28:19, prove that the Son-Jesus is above his Father? NO. And everything that is said of the Father and the Son-Jesus in the scriptures are NOT the same.

    The New Encyclopædia Britannica says: “Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord’ (Deut. 6:4). … The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies. … By the end of the 4th century … the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since.”—(1976), Micropædia, Vol. X, p. 126.

  66. godsteddybear says:

    I believe that a christian husband’s Christ like love and a christian wife’s submission will lead to a God approved partnership ;-) I pray that my husband and I continue to learn and grow within the borders of the Word. Part of this balance is if my husband asks me to be his partner in leadership, in some things like making financial decisions, we will be all the better for my submitting to his request. God made us all unique and I believe He expects us to adjust accordingly. I am not saying that twisting the scriptures to meet our specific needs is ever correct. I’m saying I know there are some very strong and intelligent women out there who truly are submissive help mates for their husbands. God Bless.

    Gods Teddy

  67. poohpity says:

    The Trinity is the bottom line of a Christian’s faith, so what religion do you follow? One that was created in the early nineteenth century (Joseph Smith) or late nineteenth century (Charles Taze Russell)?

  68. Rick123 says:

    poohpity: I don’t follow Rome and the pope(trinity), nor Joseph Smith, or Charles Taze Russell.

    I follow Jesus and Paul, who believed that their God the Father is One( Deu 6:4; Mar 12:29; 1Cr 8:6)

    Jer 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.(Rome and the pope(trinity), nor Joseph Smith, or Charles Taze Russell.)

  69. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart De Haan, please don’t take this personally, okay? I really appreciate your efforts to teach people to be Christ-like…and you are wonderful example your self. Unlike you, I’m not a marriage expert and I’m not a Bible expert. If my comments are offensive, then please ignore them. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts on marital authority!

    The extreme ignorance of the so called churched people expressing right here on this blog is vexing my spirit. Forget about the Greeks, Romans and Jews… even non Christians in other parts of the world know exactly what headship means. Marital authority in the Bible is such a simple and straightforward truth… if people are confused about this no wonder they do not understand the mystery of Christ and the Church.

    So, Mart De Haan, please teach Christ to the churched and God will reward you abundantly. Are you saying that you are already doing that? The staggering # of dysfunctional Christian marriages in this culture is proof enough that you have failed to teach Christ. The meaning of Headship is found not in churlish Nabal but in Christ alone!

  70. GeeTee says:

    Rick123. May I speak the truth in love? Maybe you misinterpret what this blog is all about. I think RBC makes it available so we can ‘Been Thinking About’ some of the issues and concerns that are circulating ’round these days. It’s not a forum for us to exhibit our reading or typing skills, and by that I mean pulling out the topicals, or studies, or commentaries, and transcribing what we read as though that were the only sound teaching. We all have access to those tools and we all have opinions on the things we believe. And there’s not much that could stop us if we choose to lay all that stuff out. But I myself believe it serves no purpose to get into dogmatic stuff that can be addressed on any one of a number of other blogs that are on the net. I’ve ventured into some of those sites and the fellas back&forth it like nobody elses business. Give a look around, my friend. Second Corinthians Thirteen Fourteen GT

  71. mtman says:

    Daisy: I have just spent the better part of 1 1/2 hours going through my bible. I agree that it is a simple and straight forward truth. I’m not sure why it is becoming so difficult. Do we toss out some of Paul’s teaching and accept others. Either the bible is the inspired truth of God or it isn’t. I understand that some marriages are not good and there is abuse but the principal of marriage in the bible seems to me to be like you say, simple and straight forward. To try to move it beyond that for me is frustrating. Maybe as isolated as I am I am not aware of all the problems out there with marriage.

  72. laney says:

    Thankyou everyone for your prayers and encouragement.I need to remember there are women out there who have it a lot worse than I did.Especially these women in moslem countries.They are the ones that need our prayers.I’ll be just fine.For me there is a Balm in Gilead if I keep my focus on my Lord and stay in his word.But there are women out there who are abused and do not have the Lord to turn to in there times of trouble.My prayer for them is that what ever abuse they are going through God will turn it around and use it to draw them to him.

    Godsteddybear welcome to the site.I’am glad your husband found the site for you.I truly beleive you will enjoy this site.I know it has blessed me.Everyone feels like family here.At times you can even feel the presence of the Lord.

  73. poohpity says:

    Rick 123,
    I have always seen just in God’s word alone as a whole the evidence of the Trinity and have always believed that without Jesus being who He said He was that the things He did pointed directly to His deity because no human being could accomplish what He has. I was concerned for you because some of the things you have written caused me confusion about what you believe.

    There are many all over the world that are extremely ignorant about the things of Christ that is why we are all given the great commission to tell them and the great command to love them. It is not up to Mart alone to do this, it is up to each of us. Marital authority has obviously been misunderstood just the same way as loving others has been misunderstood. The fruit of the spirit which is the manifestation of what we truly believe is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and SELF-CONTROL. Against such things there is no law. The sinful nature is obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; HATRED, DISCORD, JEALOUSY, fits of rage, selfish ambition, DISSENSIONS, factions and envy; DRUNKENNESS, orgies and the like. Which looks more like the church? Looking at the church we must start in our own lives and ask ourselves which one do we resemble.

  74. Wordgazer says:

    I believe in the gospel. I believe in God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, crucified for our sins and raised from the dead the third day. I believe in regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead.

    One thing I do not believe is that those who express disagreement with me on matters that are not essential to the faith (such as husband-wife relations) are “in extreme ignorance” or “do not understand the mystery of Christ and the Church.”

    I am sorry if it vexes Daisymarygold to have someone disagree with her. The fact remains that I do not believe the Bible clearly teaches “marital authority” as God’s ideal plan or design, or that the word “headship” is what is meant by by “head” in Ephesians 5.

    We may be coming from different viewpoints, and probably use different methods of exegesis. But I don’t believe insulting people who disagree, particularly on matters that are non-fundamental to faith and salvation, is what Christ would have us do.

  75. Rick123 says:

    Hey folks, the marital authority is not that to complicated, but very simple according to the bible, the role play of the husband is not to be like a dictatorship, but with the loving and understanding attitude of Christ, he leads his wife with God’s grace.

  76. poohpity says:

    I have been very blessed to have been taught by the Holy Spirit the true identity of Christ that presents the visible identity of God in human form because there are none that have been able to look at God face to face and live.

    I have been trying to understand where you are coming from and to get to know you. My eyes have been opened to you and now I see where you are coming from. Thank you!

  77. daisymarygoldr says:

    “To try to move it beyond that for me is frustrating” mtman, it used to frustrate me too but not any longer. Now it simply saddens me with untold pain. It takes child-like faith to accept simple and straight forward truth. Praying that God will give us faith to trust in Him… that in ordaining marital authority, He actually has our best interests at heart.

    poohpity, I also appreciate your efforts to teach us to be Christ-like. Your teachings on marital authority have been a great blessing to me!

  78. GeeTee says:

    Rick123. More than serious, my friend, but not to be misunderstood. I merely advise you that there are other sites to express some of the wild ideas you’ve posted lately. You know you’re always welcome at BTA. A little somethin’ from the Sermon on the Mount, if you please. “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.” Matt 6:22,23 The Lord Jesus Christ spoke these words again as recorded in Luke 11:34-36, but was a bit more elaborate. “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed the the light that is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.” The Gal 5:15 is out of context as you put it down. Paul is addressing a false teaching the Galatians were falling into concerning circumcision and if you back up to 5:9 you’ll note, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” What exactly is your exegesis of that particular verse, and how is it applicable to what is taking place right here, right now? Correct me if I’m off course. Is it UCOG or RCOG that you subscribe to? GT

  79. Mart De Haan says:

    Humility allows us to listen and to learn from one another.

    Love enables us to disagree with grace.

    Discernment gives us reason to be listening for those ideas– whoever expresses them– that resonate with our best understanding of the words and attitudes of Christ…

    Patience is for the journey we share :-)…

  80. mtman says:

    Before I go on to the next topic I have more to say here. Since I was not always a Christian and was a mid-life Christian I may have a some what different perspective. From the other postings on this subject I can tell some are firmly entrenched in what they believe. Being able to articulate that belief helps but in my opinion it really comes down to that child like faith and trust in the bible that counts. I spent considerable time yesterday researching marriage and head and authority in the bible and to me is is just as Daisy says, simple and straight forward. Wordgazer I wouldn’t try to change your opinion one iota but I can still agree in part and disagre in part. I don’t think that diminishes either of us as Christians.
    This is quite the exchange between GT and Rick123. For me the Holy Spirit is quite real and guides my life. I don’t understand the trinity any more than I understand quantum physic’s. I do trust however in the Lord and when he said he would send the Holy Spirit I know he did. It is like Paul said several times – that it is a mystery and since it is a heavenly mystery it will have to wait for later to be solved. Personally I don’t think it hurts one bit to be challenged occasionally. If we can’t accept a challenge and grow from it we are just treading water. I enjoyed the challenge between Rick123 and BT. I think the difference between Christians and non-Christians is that when all is said and done Christians can shake hands and still love each other. Good exchange guys..

  81. blowentw says:

    There are a couple of comments that might be helpful regarding the discussion
    First, we tend to start with the marriage relationship as the first that God established in the garden of Eden, and so it trumps all other relationships and gets treated differently. But it was not. The first relationship established was between God and (hu)man. The reconciliation that comes through Christ starts with this relationship, and then works out into the second relationship, that between the man and the woman. So if we believe we are new creatures in Christ, and the curse no longer has hold on us, then as Christians in marriage we are obligated by love and empowered by the Spirit to work against the effects of the fall in all of our relationships. We need to be consistent in our application of redemption across all aspects of our life. I see no reason not to model our marriage relationships on that of the Father and Christ, who, though equal, agreed to a relationship of authority on the part of the Father over the Son, and worked together to accomplish the greater good of our salvation.
    Throughout this discussion we seem to take the marriage relationship out of the Christian context, but essentially we are talking about Christian marriage. As was pointed out earlier, the passage starts with the statement that all Christians are to submit to one another. My role as a husband is a role of submission and service to my wife. The meaning in the passage is “Husbands submit to your wives by loving them the way Christ loved the church.” In serving as the “head,” it is my responsibility to seek what is best for her (and myself, as we are one) in the long run, as Jesus did for the church. My motivation is (or should be) my love for her, which should follow closely after my love for God. I should not treat my wife with any less respect or care than I should for any other Christian, and I should not treat her or talk to her in a way I would not treat any other Christian.
    I think these things are clear and unambiguous from Scripture, and if husbands will treat their wives this way, wives will be much more willing to submit to their husbands. I also suspect that it will seem much less like submitting than cooperating. They will realize that just as Christ was willing to sacrifice for them, their husbands will sacrifice as well. After all, a head doesn’t make the body do things that will hurt it on a lark, because the head will share the pain. It is a great responsibility that God has given a husband, and our struggle with the selfishness that remains form our old nature makes it all the much harder. And it is a great risk for a woman to trust a fallible man to lead her with live and respect.

  82. GeeTee says:

    Lemme see here. Another go at it, I think I will. Rick, my brother…I ain’t tryin’ to prove no point or nothin’ like that. I merely advise you there are other formats. When I say “wild ideas” I refer to your Marian point-of-view. Holy Scripture says next to nothing where Mary is concerned other than the angel’s “Hail, thou that art………blessed art thou among women.” There are a couple other occasions that her words are recorded, i.e., response to Gabriel’s announcement(Luke1:34&38), her song of magnification(Luke1:46-55), her question when He stayed behind at 12(Luke2:48), and that’s the entirety of them. No “bone of my bones…” and whatever else it was you attributed to her as saying in that “wild ideas” post the other day. Consider this my friend: There are maybe 4or500 persons that view BTA on a daily basis, of which there might be some that have never cracked open the Holy Bible in their life. They may see those “wild ideas” that you entertain and were so free to post as though they were Scripture, and be influenced into thinking or believing along those lines without ever opening the Word of God to search these things out. There are plenty of Scripture illiterates as it is. Let’s be mindful of them and not step outside the bounds of Scripture in this public venue. The “Mary, Queen of Heaven” thing. Come on dude…where????? That whole Marian heresy is steeped in RC. Co-redemptrix, co-mediatrix. And you would attempt to villify the doctrine of God the Holy Spirit as being RC? My friend, I speak my mind in truth and love…you’ve got your wires crossed. But that doesn’t make you a bad guy, 123. Just a guy. We differ on some things, oh well. We still stand on the same earth. Healthy opposition isn’t such a bad thing. Ask any lawyer in town. Rick123. Cat, you’ve given me some opportunities to look into some things that might have gotten overlooked if it weren’t for this little bit of toin’&froin’ we been doin’, so it’s been a good thing and I thank you. Remember…..Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. GT

  83. daisymarygoldr says:

    “So if we believe we are new creatures in Christ, and the curse no longer has hold on us, then as Christians in marriage we are obligated by love and empowered by the Spirit to work against the effects of the fall in all of our relationships.”- blowentw

    blowentw, I agree with you that as Christians in marriage we are obligated by love and empowered by the Spirit to work against the effects of the fall. How does one work against… to skip mortal death?

    “In serving as the “head,” it is my responsibility to seek what is best for her…” How do you judge what is best for her? What if the wife wants to spend all the money on clothes and shoes? I know that sounds a little silly but on a serious note, what if she says she does not want to go to church? What if she denounces her faith? What if she refuses to allow the children to go to church or read the Bible? What if she tells you after 30 years of marriage that she has no more love for you, instead she has strong feelings of love for another man who already has a wonderful wife?

    These are not things that I’m making up…they are real and personally, I know of Christian women who literally want to rule the roost. blowentw, you have rightly said “it is a great risk for a woman to trust a fallible man to lead her”. How then will you trust a fallible woman and submit to her needs… if her needs are more like self-serving wants… especially if what she feels as best is actually detrimental to the financial, physical and spiritual life of the entire family?

  84. Wordgazer says:

    Those are good questions, Daisymarygold.

    I would respond that since both husband and wife are fallible, they should follow Christ together, and each should hold the other accountable to serve Christ.

    Neither husband or wife should serve themselves, but Christ– and both should be imitators of Christ in serving one another.

    Neither husband nor wife should be “ruling the roost.” Instead, they should be seeking together to follow Christ.

  85. desert rose says:

    Mart, is it not true that the culture was totally different from what we know it to be? Look at the work and responsibility the woman had in the home, it is over whelming. No one should dominate another, it is wrong. I told my husband before we got married, I had no problem following him, if he was a good leader. We have butted heads when he followed the flesh and not God, but I have always shown honor and respect and disagreed with him in a way God would want me to. I do believe that the culture has a lot to do with these scriptures in fully understanding them.

  86. africandav says:

    i saw this and got excited: Marital Authority
    then i saw this and got disappointed :I’m not convinced  that God has given a  husband authority to rule his wife.
    how can Gen 3:16 NOT give husbands authority to rule

    Passage Genesis 3:16:
       16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

  87. africandav says:

    a fellow church member wrote this

    Absolutely that’s why one needs to be in a Bible teaching church. The Genesis passage in the Hebrew speaks to the wife desiring the man’s authority (in other words she will lead, not him). Secondly, I Corinthians 11 clearly states that I as a husband am my wife’s head and that the wife was created for me (I need her) and not vice versa. Thirdly, from genesis to Ephesians to Corinthians, etc., the Word of God gives me complete instructions on how to be a strong, loving, sacrificial leader. Not a boss, not a tyrant or dictator but a high priest and King of my home. One who leads by serving my wife and kids. It would be easy to say that this leadership issue in the home is more a Japthethite cultural problem but in reality we Hamites have some of these same issues also. So…I found some of the comments interesting and are reflective of where those folks are in their transformation process in Christ.

  88. AndrewW says:

    “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your(D) respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

    Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker(J) vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

    1 Peter 3v1-7 ESV

    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
    Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and( gave himself up for her…”

    Eph 5v22-25

    “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”

    Col 3v18-19 ESV

    Let’s bow to the Word of God. The responsibility of the wife is to submit, hupotasso, to rank under, take leadership from, her husband “as is fitting, in the Lord” in as far as she is not disobeying the Lord.

    There is NO thought of inequality in this. The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, who could not sin, “submitted” to Joseph and Mary yet He was never inferior to them.

    “And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them…” Luke 2v51 ESV

    Likewise, with mutual affection and respect, the husband is told to love (agape – self sacrificial, based in the will) his wife.

  89. ovictoria says:

    I find myself here to understand submission better and understand how it translates to real life. I’m married and it is a struggle since there is none perfect. My life is poured out wine. My husband is a horse to the water that won’t drink. I alone feel an initiative for guarding our hearts and seeking God in my marriage. What does it mean to submit to my husband? A thorn in my flesh. Maybe it is just what God intended to keep me close to him and have no other option. I asked him for that.

    I wanted to post simply to say that; indeed this discussion is worthwhile. I asking God for discernment and searching searching to know the mind of Christ here. Am I in line? Am I understanding the word of God? I loved AndrewW’s post. “as is fitting, in the Lord” stands out to me. I know that no matter how much I irritate my husband with moral issues (no matter how soft or quiet my words are)God has a purpose in my circumstances at all times. To love is to serve reguardless of my husbands response. As I love God with all my heart and ask Him to keep it wholly that way- He won’t leave me or forsake me! He will work all to His good purpose and glory and in that I am satisfied and pulled out of the drudgery of it through faith. If I die and never see a change, and yet love Christ and also my husband, it makes no difference in my faith and that is what matters. It is my service to Christ; an honor. Nothing is impossible with God. Not my will, but His.

  90. poohpity says:

    It would be nice if a woman loves her husband then treat him with love and if a husband loves his wife threat her with love. Mutual love, respect and concern for each other. Why is a marriage any different than any other relationship? I would think it would be better to have someone to be best friends and love more than anyone else in the world but God. Do people go into a marriage to out do each other with control and hatred? Why even get into marriage if it is so ugly all the time?

  91. foreverblessed says:

    To Ovitoria
    My post on marriage is on marital submission and the bible, as I reread it it is not very clear what I am trying to say. Sinner4given gives her story on March 12.(on marriage disconnect) She states her point very clearly: God is busy with me! “Let me fix you” He said to her.
    12 years ago I was in trouble, my husband and I left our church. Since I was 5 it was my church, and my social life. It was my life. And when I left the depression started. Now I can clearly see why: I should have built my life on Christ, not on a church. But the lines are thin.
    I started to look for Chirst very much. But my husband dindn’t. Instead he plunged into his work, and when home would be lost behind the tv. So there you go.
    I had a christian coach. I am very gratefull for having found her. She helped me go the way Jesus would wanted me to go. Forget about fixing your husband, work on yourself: Have a relation with Christ yourself. That was very hard to do, because it felt as if my marriage wasn’t getting any better straight away. She said to me, say it only once in 3 months that you don’t like it that he watches tv so much. That you want to have time together, sitting talking. So that was a tremendous difficult task for me. Because I got very irritated when he was lost again behind the screen. Could be the computer as well.
    But God wanted me to find Him first.
    So the verse in Genesis 3:16 “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. ”. was explained to me: because of the fall mankind is shut of from God, now the woman looks to the man for comfort and love and so on. The man is her source of life. (I never heard of the explanation that this verse means to say that the woman wants to rule the man, it literally says the opposite). So instead of going to God for love she goes to her husband.
    I had to learn to go back to God, learn to live in Jesus. To feel loved and accepted, and cherished, all these things I should ask from Jesus.
    And that was a real trial for me, especially when the person that is living with you is either working late or when home watching tv. (He clearly was in depression too)
    But God did comfort me, heal my soul. Filled it with His love. I went to a womens ministry, there I got a lot of healing, and crying. And a woman prayed for me, I was really deeply comforted. It was as if God spoke to me, “I have seen your tears, I feel your loneliness in your marriage, I feel for you.” I was so comforted.
    And after that prayer she put her arm around me and said: Now you go home and put your arm around your husband and say you love him. It felt right. It was the thing to do. God loves me, and He did so much I could give it to the persons dearest to me.
    You think I would do that easily? I kept falling back and asking love from my husband. It is now 10 years later.
    And still the verse in 1 Peter 3: 1-6 is my guide.
    A gentle and quiet spirit, because it is loved by Christ.
    Then what does submission mean: to me it means I have to find it in Christ in the first place. Be submissive to Chirst. Be totally abandoned to Him.
    My husband does not demand of me to watch tv, neither can I demand of him to go to church, or pray or do bible study.
    But maybe, when he sees how much I am softened and full of love, he may be triggered to go and look for God more intensely.

  92. Godmakesmeable says:

    Foreverblessed, Thank you for responding. I think its too much for me to explain right now. I appreciate your experience that you shared and am looking into those verses more. Somewhat it feels like laying down and dying spiritually. I’m not sure its not just an only child’s (my husband) expectations of what relationships are supposed to be that don’t make much sense to a youngest of 8 (me). ::sigh:: A lot of it also has to do with his parents expectations on what my marriage is supposed to mean for them. I feel pretty out to sea. I want to grow up and align my life according to what I believe through my relationship with Christ and the bible and it seems I’m completely isolated from any relationships that aren’t demanding things that I feel are wrong. I long for refuge and rest.

  93. Barbara Roberts says:

    To Loretta and others who are experiencing abuse or have experienced it from your spouse:
    I’m a victim/survivor of domestic abuse and I know there are genuine answers in the Bible. For one thing it is not true that “God hates divorce”. That is a mistranslation. Check out the ESV or the Holman Christian Standard Version as they have got it right.

    God does not condemn all divorce. He only condemns treacherous divorce. He does not condemn divorce when it is done for the biblical grounds of abuse, adultery or desertion. The ground for abuse is 1 Cor. 7:15.

  94. Barbara Roberts says:

    To Loretta and all other victim/survivors of domestic abuse. Whether you are still in the abusive relationship or whether it is in the past, I want to tell you that the Bible DOES have answers to your dilemmas. I am ten years out of an abusive marriage. Abuse is not just physical, it is emotional and psychological and it can also be social, financial, sexual and spiritual.

    It is not your fault. You are not to blame.

    My book, Not Under Bondage, looks at the scriptural dilemmas regarding divorce which are faced by abuse victims. It explains how the Bible sets victims free from bondage and guilt.

    One thing I have found (and explain in my book) is that God did not say “I hate divorce.” Check out Malachi 2:16 in the ESV or the Holman Christian Standard Version as they have got it right. I’ve found 18 Hebrew scholars who say that Malachi 2:16 has been mistranslated in the vast majority of versions.

    God does not condemn all divorce. He only condemns treacherous divorce. He allows divorce for three biblical grounds: abuse, adultery or desertion.

    The ground for abuse is 1 Cor. 7:15 which means if the unbeliever causes separation (whether by his desertion or his bad conduct which effectively pushes away the believer) let there be separation. Believing spouses are not under bondage in such cases, which means they are not bound to remain unmarried like the case in verses 10-11. Therefore they are free to remarry.

    If you are married to an abuser who professes to be a Christian, a process of biblical discipline needs to be undertaken first (Matthew 18:15-17). If the abuser fails to properly repent he should be treated as an unbeliever, in which case 1 Cor. 7:15 will apply. Look on my website resources list for a checklist for genuine repentance.

  95. Barbara Roberts says:

    Hi Moderator: I didn’t see my comment that I made yesterday when I looked at the site before logging in so I thought it had got lost in cyberspace. So I sent another one.
    I think the second one is better so if you approve of it, please use it and delete/ignore the first comment I made on this post. Thanks. I’m just getting used to your site.

  96. Sakoieta says:

    She:kon, Mart:
    This is where often times biblical text and belief become difficult when encountering a different culture. In my culture we are a matriarchal society. If I were to accept the biblical text as it has been presented by missionaries many times to our people as Iroquois people, then I would have to question why we are matriarchal people, who believe man was created to be the woman’s helper, since women are the lifegiver’s and the “center” of the home. Missionaries I have spoken to about this proclaim this is man’s doing and not of God since it doesn’t correlate with biblical teaching. Yet I have to disagree because the majority of all Indian people were at one time matriarchal in identifying their lineage, through the mother’s side, not the fathers. Even the Jewish people can identify as a Jew if a man’s mother was Jewish. This has caused controʌersy many times with missionaries who will not accept our belief that our identity and lineage followed instructions given to us by our Creator. We believe the man and woman stand side by side in equality since they were created that same way at the time of the creation of human beings. I know this will cause many Christians to cringe, especially males, but that is where we stand and that is why many times efforts to share our beliefs about a loving Creator with those who come amongs us to preach and missionize has failed and continues to do so to this day. Onen.

  97. Lastinghope says:

    One simple question I haven’t seen asked here, WHY would husbands lobby so aggressively for this supposed “granted” authority?? Why not just lead in love as you were intending to anyway and not worry about the trump card you want for tie-breakers?? The reason wives keep revisiting the issue is that they watch their husbands leading their families into error that spills over in to other lives, and rather than being able to stand against it as they would be encouraged to with any other sin, they are told to be quiet, calm, peaceful, and accept it as God’s divine design and His will… Please! Men want this right because they want the final say – too bad, guys, Jesus gets that and He said not to assert your own rights. Women don’t want to rule exclusively, just don’t want to see you do it either. You weren’t built for it; Christ IS.

  98. Lastinghope says:

    I find it so interesting that those who propose that “hupotasso” used in Galatians 5 is somehow a super-hupotasso for the wife… it’s the same word in the verse which enjoins us all to submit to one another. It’s about sticking together, not quitting on each other, not about who gets to break ties or have the final word on every discussion. I love my husband dearly, always will, but I’m not going to bend scripture to stroke his ego to his own detriment.

  99. Helmet says:

    Barbara, is your book available in México?

  100. Helmet says:

    Steeve, I would like to ask your permission to copy your ladder text, I think it’s great to share it on my facebook. Can I?

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